Wright Motorsports Experiences Highs and Lows at Home Race

May 16, 2021

LEXINGTON, Ohio, (May 16, 2021) – Home race week has concluded for Wright Motorsports at Mid-Ohio SportsCar Course, and Wright Motorsports closes out the event with their third podium of the 2021 IMSA season, after earning a second-place finish in the Michelin Pilot Challenge. The team showed a strong pace while racing to the podium in the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race but contact from another car dashed those hopes in the final hour.

Ryan Hardwick came back for his first races since his January on-track incident, fully recovered from his head injury to celebrate a pole position and race podium, creating additional momentum the team will use to launch into the next stretch of the season.

The No. 16 Porsche 911 GT3 R showed strong speeds in each session, even learning the “points pole” by qualifying first in a pre-race session that gifted 35 points to the 1st Phorm car. Ryan Hardwick started the race in tenth and enjoyed a relatively drama-free stint, settling into position and saving tires and fuel to play into the team’s race strategy. With no issues, he completed his stint in 11th and pitted after completing the minimum drive time. The No. 16 Porsche received a fresh set of tires and a tank of fuel as Patrick Long took over the driving duties. As the rest of the field began to circulate through their stops and varying strategy calls, the race played into Wright’s hands and their consistency paid off. Long moved up to sixth position in a matter of laps, catching Michael de Quesada in the No. 28 Mercedes and Mario Farnbacher in the No. 76 Acura, in a heated battle for fifth place. The No. 76 went temporarily off course and Long assumed the position, closing in on de Quesada to fight for fourth. Lap after lap, the duo raced nose-to-tail, and then as the pair ran side by side into the carousel, the No. 9 Porsche came alongside, running three wide into the turn. The three had contact, sending the Wright Motorsports spinning into the gravel. Long saved the car from further damage but needed a tow back to pit lane to replace a flat right rear tire. The delay set the team back three laps, resulting in a 12th place finish.

The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship will resume June 12 at the Detroit Grand Prix at the temporary street course on Belle Isle. The one-hour, 40-minute race will be the shortest race on the 2021 schedule, and include only the DPi, GTLM, and GTD classes, sharing the race weekend with the NTT IndyCar Series.


Ryan Hardwick

What a shame. After not the best qualifying effort, starting towards the back of the field, we worked our way up to the top five, with Pat doing most of the hard work. It’s disappointing for our race to end like that. We’ll take this one on the chin. It’s still a long season. I look forward to bouncing back at Detroit and get on with our winning ways.

Patrick Long

We were biding our time with a car in front of us that seemed to be out of tires and unable to continue at pace. A chain reaction effect of some errors by the leading car meant that we had to check up, and we got hit from behind and broke our right rear wheel. At that point, the race was over for us. We soldiered on and got some points, not giving up. It was not our prettiest race, but it’s eyes up onto our test at Watkins Glen.